7.1/10
4,968
69 user 30 critic

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, History | 11 November 1939 (USA)
Trailer
3:29 | Trailer
A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Norman Reilly Raine (screen play), Æneas MacKenzie (screen play) (as Aeneas MacKenzie) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 5 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Queen Elizabeth
Errol Flynn ... Earl of Essex
Olivia de Havilland ... Lady Penelope Gray
Donald Crisp ... Francis Bacon
Alan Hale ... Earl of Tyrone
Vincent Price ... Sir Walter Raleigh
Henry Stephenson ... Lord Burghley
Henry Daniell ... Sir Robert Cecil
James Stephenson ... Sir Thomas Egerton
Nanette Fabray ... Mistress Margaret Radcliffe (as Nanette Fabares)
Ralph Forbes ... Lord Knollys
Robert Warwick ... Lord Mountjoy
Leo G. Carroll ... Sir Edward Coke
Learn more

More Like This 

Dodge City (1939)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Texas cattle agent witnesses first hand, the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A highly fictionalized account of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A major countermands orders and attacks to avenge a previous massacre of men, women, and children.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 1854, Jeb Stuart, George Custer and other graduates from West Point are posted to Kansas to help pacify the territory before railroad construction to Santa Fe can resume.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Raymond Massey
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sir Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd) overcomes court intrigue to win favor with Queen Elizabeth I (Bette Davis) in order to get financing for a proposed voyage to the New World.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Bette Davis, Richard Todd, Joan Collins
Captain Blood (1935)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After being wrongly convicted as a traitor, Peter Blood, an English physician, is sent to exile in the British colonies of the Caribbean, where he becomes a pirate.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Robert will do anything to get the big account that has eluded him. His public relations business makes public angels of rich scoundrels. Jean needs someone to save the paper and she wants ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Rosalind Russell
The Sea Hawk (1940)
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An actor of the stage finds himself pursued by a lovestruck fan while trying to patch up a tempestuous relationship with his actress lover.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Jerry and Cass have always been competitive. Now that Cass is a well respected Naval aviator like his father, Jerry leaves the submarine service to become a flying cadet with Class 61 at ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: George Brent, Olivia de Havilland, John Payne
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The day before her wedding, a pampered young woman absconds with her sister's husband; in retaliation, her sister begins seeing the woman's former fiancé.

Directors: John Huston, Raoul Walsh
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent
Juarez (1939)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Louis Napoleon III takes advantage of the American Civil War to circumvent the Monroe Doctrine and expand his power by helping Emperor Maximillian Hapsburg to add Mexico to his empire. of Mexico.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Brian Aherne
Edit

Storyline

This period drama frames the tumultuous affair between Queen Elizabeth I and the man who would be King of England, Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex. Ever the victor on the battlefield, Devereux returns to London after defeating Spanish forces at Cadiz. Middle-aged Elizabeth, so attracted to the younger Devereux but fearful of his influence and popularity, sends him on a new mission: a doomed campaign to Ireland. When he and his troops return in defeat, Devereux demands to share the throne with the heir-less queen, and Elizabeth, at first, intends to marry. Ultimately sensing the marriage would prove disastrous for England, Elizabeth sets in motion a merciless plan to protect her people and preserve her throne. Written by IMDb Editors

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Elizabeth I's love for the Earl of Essex threatens to destroy her kingdom. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film, Olivia De Haviland portrays Lady Penelope as a lady in waiting to the queen with a school girl crush on Lord Essex. In reality however, Lady Penelope was actually Lord Essex's sister. See more »

Goofs

The scores that Korngold wrote for this movie and for THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD are perfect for creating a spirit of epic heroism; as regards music history, however, they are all wrong. The Late Romantic bombast of both these pieces is totally inappropriate for the Middle Ages and for the 16th Century, whose musical styles are well known. See more »

Quotes

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex: So you're the Earl of Tyrone?
Earl of Tyrone: If you like, though plain Hugh O'Neill will do. You're Essex I take it?
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex: I am, though Robert Devereux'll do.
Earl of Tyrone: Ah, you've a sense of humour, man. Which you'll be needin' when we've finished talkin'.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Warner Brothers shield is in the form of an English coat of arms. This logo was seen in Errol Flynn's previous film The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Virgin Territory: The Making of 'The Virgin Queen' (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Love's Answer
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Walter Raleigh
Sung by Olivia de Havilland (dubbed by Faith Kruger)
Lute playing dubbed by an anonymous lutist
See more »

User Reviews

 
Chemistry between distinct poles
24 July 2005 | by gabriela-12See all my reviews

I saw this movie when I was a child in Mexican black and white TV. Now it has been released in DVD in Spain by Divisa(2005) It is clear that true history is absent in most of the historic events related to the story. Essex was actually married to Penelope Rich (and not Gray, as in the movie), which meant nothing to his relationship to the queen. The meeting with Ireland's clan chief Tyrone was thought alright as treason, but when Essex entered London no one rouse with him. He passed a lot of time in his house, far from London, before the Queen made any decision on his final destiny... also Briton's uniforms in Ireland look Spanish...etc. The strange thing is that the story itself, as told by Curtiz, functions well. Davies is great ( a little bit overacting, but, who cares?), as the uncommon woman Elizabeth must have been. She did'not want Flynn to play the part: she asked for Laurence Olivier, but I sincerely think Flynn gave the necessary gaiety and spirits Essex would have had in reality, and Olivier would have spoiled that by his well known acting excesses, playing dark and severe where there should be light and superficial. Both, Davies and Flynn, seem profoundly in love and hate. Constanty driving in and out from and to love and politics. I would'not say this is a great movie, but it's worth while seeing it! (Excuse my English, I write better in Spanish)


20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 69 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Essex and Elizabeth See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,075,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.



Recently Viewed